Effective health communication is essential for safe and effective self-care by consumers and patients. Despite successes on content and format improvements of drug labeling by the Food and Drug Administration, significant gaps remain in medication education by practitioners and self-education by consumers and patients.
Assess consumer-reported use of Retail Drug Monographs (RDMs) provided at the time of dispensing prescription medicines, attitudes and behaviors of Low English Proficiency (LEP) consumers to RDMs printed in their foreign language, and consumer use of the OTC Drug Facts label in relation to allergy alerts, as a means to add to the body of literature characterizing the medication education gap in the U.S.
Using standard label comprehension survey techniques, previously unpublished data was analyzed in relation to participants’ intent to read and keep RDMs for Rx medicines and the allergy alert in OTC Drug Facts labels, as well as LEP participants’ attitudes on access to, use and desire to have RDMs in their native language.
Across all studies, a substantial number of consumers do not read or keep RDMs or the OTC drug allergy alert when using a medicine the first time, and LEP consumers want but are not receiving essential medication education at the time of Rx dispensing.
Many consumers and patients do not get or use essential medication education placing them at risk for injury. Higher priorities for research and education outreach are needed to enhance behavior changes by consumers, patients and practitioners in order to fill the medication education gap.
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